By Eamonn Doyle
Much of the work of Irish music producer and photographer Eamonn Doyle focuses on the centre of his home city, Dublin. An exhibition of his photographs is at Michael Hoppen Gallery in London until June 15 2019.
One of my earliest memories is boarding a rowing boat in Coliemore Harbour with my friend Mick and making our way over to Dalkey Island.
Though only 10 miles from the city centre, it has a remote and timeless quality to it. Long uninhabited by humans, its residents now comprise a herd of wild goats and colony of black rabbits. The ruins of an early church, a Martello tower [a 19th-century fort] and a pagan site are evidence of human occupation stretching back to 4000 BC.
Where to live – Parnell Street
Although I am originally from Dalkey on the coast on Dublin’s south side, I’ve been living in the north inner city for the past 28 years: “X” marks the spot for me at the corner of Parnell Street and North Great George’s Street.
My family and I have a long association with the area because where these two streets meet, so did my parents more than 60 years ago. It’s also where I launched my record label in 1993 and, more recently, the location for my photography projects.
A much neglected part of Georgian Dublin, the area was originally inhabited by Dublin’s ruling class, who moved out of the area after the act of union in the early 1800s. The district has suffered a steady decline since then. Many of the Georgian buildings were turned into overcrowded tenements. More recently, it has fallen foul to a series of awful planning decisions.
It received a new lease of life in the late 1990s with the influx of immigrants from west Africa, China, eastern Europe and Brazil. There’s now a wealth of photographic subjects on my doorstep. At times it’s edgy and raw and vibrant, while at others it seems half-sunk in a weary pathos.
Where to eat
It seems a bit too convenient but the full Irish breakfast cooked up by Mike at 147 Deli (above my basement studio) is hard to top.
For lunch and dinner I head to Yamamori, a Dublin institution for nearly 25 years, for sushi. Yamamori North City on Ormond Quay has great staff and a great atmosphere, and its lunch bento box for under €10 is as good a deal as any in the city.
Where to drink coffee
Tucked away at the Parnell end of Capel Street, Mish.Mash café is a favourite place for a cup of coffee with my friend and local luthier [a stringed-instrument maker] Frank Tate, whose workshop is next door.
Where to relax
Where to discover music
For a bit of authentic low-key live Irish traditional music I sometimes sneak into the early informal session in The Cobblestone bar in Smithfield.
Where to run
When I need to stretch my legs and rearrange my molecules, I either jog down the river Liffey dockside or take myself up to walled spaciousness of Dublin and the largest enclosed green space in any European capital, the Phoenix Park.
Where to drink Guinness
For some old-world Joycean splendour and familiar faces one could do worse than a couple of proud pints at the Stag’s Head.
Photographs: Matthew Thompson; Eammon Doyle/Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Gallery; Leo Byrne; Niamh Gibbons; Getty Images/iStockphoto